Pioneering the Path Towards Sustainable Energy Solutions

Professor David Jenkins

Why it Matters

The precise estimation of energy demand in buildings plays a key role in shaping energy policies and establishing targets for carbon reduction, as outlined in Energy Performance Certificates. Despite this importance, a gap often exists in effectively translating knowledge of building physics into actionable strategies. By bridging this gap and harnessing cutting-edge building modelling techniques, the impact on energy policy and the journey to a net zero future is amplified.

"By shining a light on how important building modelling is within larger energy systems and policies, we're bridging a crucial gap on the road to reaching a net-zero future. My passion comes from tackling climate change through building energy research and being part of academia's bigger picture. Working closely with policy groups helps us see how our research plays out in the real world, so we can tailor our work for achieving maximum impact"

Professor David Jenkins

Real-World Implications

Professor Jenkins has been involved in various projects, like the ReFLEX initiative in Orkney, that have had a significant impact on user communities. These projects introduced technologies such as electric vehicles, helping to reduce carbon emissions and strengthen local energy systems. Additionally, he is privileged to serve as an invited member on various Scottish Government advisory panels, offering insights into heat and building-related areas.

Throughout Professor Jenkins's research journey, he has encountered a range of technical, policy, and logistical challenges. His team focuses on modelling the impact of emerging technologies within broader, multi-disciplinary energy challenges. They strive to craft decision support tools and models that can effectively guide policy formulation and engage public audiences, with projects such as crossCert demonstrating the transferability of this to other European countries.

Collaborate to Innovate

Collaboration lies at the core of Professor Jenkins research. By actively engaging in national and international networks, such as the EPSRC Decarbonised Heating and Cooling Network and the Scottish Energy Technology Partnership, collaborations are fostered between academia and industry. Through initiatives like iNetZ+, Heriot Watt’s global research institute focused on achieving a net zero future, his team endeavours to tackle research challenges in the built environment through interdisciplinary collaboration.

Engaging with diverse audiences beyond academia is essential. Whether through public events, outreach programs, or collaborations with industry, fostering dialogue and raising awareness about sustainable energy solutions is crucial. Actively involved in several schools outreach programmes, witnessing the enthusiasm of schoolchildren in confronting climate change reaffirms the value of Professor Jenkins’ research and inspires him to strive for a greener future.

Background and Current Role

With a background in Physics, Professor Jenkins's journey into academia was shaped through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership program, culminating in a PhD in low-carbon daylighting technology. Since joining Heriot-Watt University in 2005, he has remained steadfast in researching low-carbon buildings and energy systems. Currently, he leads the Urban Energy Research Group while actively engaging in teaching Architectural Engineering and participating in school outreach programs. Additionally, he serves on the University Court, contributing to the governance of the institution.

By harnessing the potency of research, collaboration, and engagement, Professor Jenkins and his team can chart a course towards a sustainable energy future, where innovation and impact converge to effectuate meaningful change.

Key information

David Jenkins

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